From My Wok to Yours - Taking the Mystery Out of Everyday Dining and Meals!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tong's Thai

Thai food has become a new favorite of mine. Our new, favorite hang out has become Tong’s Thai. Their cuisine is an authentic offering of Chinese and Thai, with sushi thrown in the mix as well.

Tong’s Thai Restaurant is a quaint little place just outside the Alamo Heights area on Austin Highway. I had heard about it many times from friends, but, despite having driven past it many times, none of us ever ventured in. Finally, just a couple of months ago, we decided to break down and give it a try.

Tong’s Thai offers cozy seating inside, with a warm and inviting atmosphere. It is clean and neat, with plenty of staff there to attend to everyone’s needs. They also offer patio dining, with a Buddha statue overlooking a koi pond.

The lunch special has always been fairly priced, with a good sized portion, and, if you don’t mind sitting at the sushi bar, there is always room to eat. Dinner portions are very generous, and it makes sense that the entire family can eat well. Everyone seems to like it. So much so that we, as a family, ended up visiting Tong’s Thai two days in a row. After having suggested it to Uncle David and Aunt Maryann on multiple occasions, they decided to go give it a try. We decided, with little convincing, to join them.

The greatest irony for me was that I knew that we would be going there the very next day to celebrate Mother’s Day.

But, hey, one cannot have too much of a good thing, right?

So off we went, and I vowed to try another dish that I had yet to taste.

Tom Kha Kai, Tong’s Thai style it was, for me. Something more traditional (Broccoli Beef, Lemon Chicken, with HUGE portions of chicken and Egg Drop Soup for everyone else.)

Their soup is served in a flaming hot pot with large, tender pieces of chicken breast, lemongrass, straw mushrooms, onions, kaffir lime and Thai chili paste, swimming in creamy coconut base. The presentation was fun for the kids, and I could not believe how big the serving was. I was starving, and I didn’t come close to finishing it.

I have discussed this type of soup before, having enjoyed it on the cruise ship a few weeks ago. There were, however, some marked differences that made this experience a little different. Onions, for one. None on the cruise ship, but plenty at Tong’s Thai. Saturday’s soup was also sweeter in flavor, perhaps due to their use of sweet coconut milk. Like Uncle David, I believe that sweet food should be primarily for desserts. While it was not an unpleasant taste, I was definitely put off a bit by the flavor.

Sunday was Mother’s Day, and I had made reservations for our family to lunch there much earlier in the week. Dana, one of my good friends from high school, was in town for the weekend, and I wanted to be able to get together and hang out with her before she had to go back home. Luckily, she liked Thai food, so it seemed to be a good choice.

Tong’s Thai was crowded, but not overly so, even though it was midway through the day. Mother’s Day is typically the second busiest day in the restaurant industry, second only to Valentine’s Day. (I do believe, however, that had I not had made reservations, we would have had to wait for a table.)

Kim ordered her regular sushi, and the girls went back to the broccoli beef and egg drop soup. Dana ordered their Pad Thai, which I have enjoyed before, and I told our server to surprise me. Roast chicken it was. Their special of the day was a roasted chicken with papaya sauce, served with a crispy salad and rice. Honestly? Not all that special. It was tasty, but unremarkable in flavor. It seemed to have missed the boat as far as “Off-the-menu” specials go. I kind of wished that I had ordered the whole sea bass that we were seeing being served to neighboring tables.

Overall, Tong’s Thai continued its trend of positive experiences, and as there are many items on their menu that I have to try for the first time, it is only fair that they get props for this last visit.

Thankfully, the company was wonderful, and all the girls got along fabulously. I do hope to be able to get together with Dana again, and when we do, maybe a different venue for our meal.

Until then, Good Eating, Friends…

Tong's Thai on Urbanspoon
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